You can thank/blame Kylie Jenner because, for the last few seasons, the desired lipstick look has been a matte, pigmented pout with an overlined finish. And said line had to be applied with the sharpest of lip pencils for an extremely precise edge. (A wobbly line wasn’t going to cut it here.) While crisp lipstick looks have been championed on Instagram and the red carpet, some runway shows have quietly been promoting a soft-focus lipstick look for a few seasons. This year, blurred lipstick finally got the attention it deserves.
Preen’s messy lipstick for Fall 2017 helped make the trend go viral because it took hazy edges to the extreme, with the lip color extending far beyond the lip line. Some cheekily called it “snogged lipstick,” while others referred to it as the more extreme version of Popsicle mouth (lipstick focused on the center of lips that blends out). No matter the name, the message it sent was that it was time to think beyond lip liner. Elisabetta Franchi and Nicopanda continued to promote the undone look at their Spring 2018 shows as did the K-beauty industry with its love of cushion applicators that produce “fuzzy” finishes. And it’s time the rest of us got on board.
It has been ingrained in us that lipstick should remain firmly inside the lip line, so the idea of a hazy line is admittedly confusing, but it’s actually pretty wearable. Natalie Soto-Carlisle, global makeup artist/educator for Jane Iredale, explains, “The blurred lip look is a very easy trend to incorporate. It’s simply smudging lipstick from the inside of the lips outward into a feathered look.”
Artis founder Matthew Waitesmith points out that there are variations. A blurred lip look can be almost anything other than the classic defined look. For example, Popsicle lipstick can include not defining the lip edge or mixing colors and intensities toward the center of the lip. As long as it has undefined edges, it can fall into the blurred lip category.
While lipstick is obviously a key part of the look, so is concealer. Waitesmith suggests using a stick or thick cream concealer all around the edges of the lips to hide the natural lip line. Then apply the lip color to the center of the lips, gradually working it outward so it gets thinner toward the lip edge. Alternatively, the lip color can be applied as normal but softened around the edges with fingers or a tissue.
Sorry liner fans, but both experts suggest avoiding lip liner unless it’s used as the lip color. If you’re concerned about the color migrating too much, Soto-Carlisle suggests blotting lipstick with a tissue after applying the first coat, then following the same procedure with the second coat. But remember that a blurred lipstick look isn’t about being perfect, so resist the urge to clean it up too much.
Looking for some visuals? Scroll through the gallery to see different wearable ways to rock blurred lipstick.
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